Before, people get to enjoy things like traveling. Going into places, exploring cultures, and enjoying adventures are some of the things people expect in a great trip. Then coronavirus turned the tables. The pandemic slowed down human activity. This is because coronavirus is efficient in ending millions of lives. This poses the concern of people as to what should be done. Governments across the globe have imposed mask mandates, requiring citizens to wear masks in public. Masks have proven their efficiency since the Spanish Flu pandemic. However, coronavirus is more lethal than Spanish influenza. This poses another concern for people as to which mask to use.
The most recommended mask is the N95 mask. In a study conducted in the United States, the N95 mask emerged victorious as the most effective mask to be used as protection. This is because particles are filtered both in and out of the mask. But what exactly is an N95 mask and how does it work?
What is an N95 mask?
The N95 mask has established its reputation as the most efficient mask by medical experts. With its filtration ability, the N95 mask is no stranger in the game of protection. Before the pandemic, the N95 mask has been a staple in the field of Medicine.
The term N95 is not just a term but a category. It is a category created by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH). NIOSH and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate facepiece respirators like the N95 mask. The N in the N95 mask refers to the mask’s surface as ‘not oil-resistant’. The 95 in the N95 mask refers to the mask’s filtration ability.
How does an N95 mask work?
The N95 mask has straps that are wrapped around the head. The straps of the N95 mask support the mask in giving a tight seal around the area of the nose and mouth. With the tight seal, the N95 mask has little to no room for leakage. The N95 mask has an advantage compared to any other masks available on the market. Made from non-latex materials, the N95 mask is not known to induce any form of irritation. The N95 mask works both in inhalation and exhalation. Particles from the outside are filtered by the N95 mask through its engineered filter. The same goes for the particles inside the N95 mask.
Given the N95 mask’s efficiency, this gives people an idea. Since the N95 mask is that effective and quarantine restrictions are slowly lifted, people can now travel safely with less worry. The N95 mask can greatly benefit people. But do authorities like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend the N95 mask for all kinds of travels?
The FDA recommends the N95 mask in all forms of travel. This is because the N95 mask is an effective tool of protection. Therefore, be it in a cold or warm environment, the N95 mask is surely dependable. However, there were reported incidents that travelers forsake the N95 mask. One of the main reasons is that travelers do not follow the standard procedure in donning the N95 mask. The N95 mask fit is not often achieved by some travelers. With the given dilemma, the FDA recommends these masks to be used for travel aside from the N95 mask.
The surgical mask is a familiar staple in hospitals. Since the N95 mask can be tricky to don, the surgical mask can be an alternative to the N95 mask. Though not as effective as the N95 mask, the surgical mask still offers protection potent enough against particles and bacteria.
The KN95 mask is a Chinese alternative to the American N95 mask. If you are doubting this mask, better not. Because this mask works like the N95 mask. It is a NIOSH-approved and FDA-cleared mask. Therefore, you do not have to worry about its efficiency.
According to the CDC, cloth masks made from silk are effective. The silk fabric can help lessen water and protect the wearer from particles. Also, a multiple layer cloth mask works closely like the N95 mask. This is because the pores from the woven mask are paired with lesser pores from other fabrics. This makes filtration even more efficient. Plus, a cloth mask is washable.
These masks are more comfortable to wear than the N95 mask. Also, these masks are ways to avoid the N95 mask. Travelers should avoid the N95 mask for the following reasons:
- The N95 mask is more useful in the medical field. With more medical professionals using the mask, the more guarded they are. The protection of the N95 mask matches the strenuous work that they do. Alleviating the symptoms of the virus takes a lot of work.
- The N95 mask fit is not for everyone. People outside the medical field do not get to have the chance of attending a mask fitting. Most likely, medical professionals have that chance. Therefore, the fit is designed for medical professionals.
Consumers and Travelers alike must remember that the potency of a mask lies in the way the mask is worn. If the mask is not worn properly, then the mask might not work the way it is expected. Ensuring the fit, checking possible points of entry, and checking the condition of the mask are ways for consumers and travelers to defend themselves from the virus.